Tribute to plantsman who built award-winning rose company

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Tribute was paid this week to world-renowned, award-winning Attleborough rose grower and author Peter Beales, who died on Saturday.

Mr Beales, 76, died in hospital surrounded by his family.

His wife, Joan, who founded Peter Beales Roses with him in the late 1960s, died last year, on September 2, after suffering a long illness.

Fellow award-winning Norfolk plantsman Adrian Bloom, of Blooms Nuseries Limited at Bressingham, said Mr Beales’ death was “a big loss in the world of horticulture”. “He was internationally known and well-respected in Japan and north America as well as at home, and in the world of old-fashioned roses he was second-to-none.”

A Norfolk man, Mr Beales trained as a nurseryman with North Walsham rose growers LeGrice. After a spell as a nursery manager in Surrey, he and his wife returned to Norfolk to open their own nursery at Swardeston in 1968, at first growing bedding plants then moving into breeding classic roses, before expanding to the company’s current site in London Road, Attleborough. Although Mr Beales was the public face of the company, and wrote many landmark books on the art of growing roses, Mrs Beales also played a full role while raising a family.

The hard work led to worldwide recognition and gold medal success at prestigious shows, and Mr Beales was awarded a place in the Rose Garden Hall of Fame for outstanding dedication to the preservation of Rare and Unusual Roses and the National Collection of Rosa Species. He also travelled the world lecturing on rose growing and continued to work in the business as chairman until his death.

Mr Beales leaves a son Richard, daughter Amanda and four granchildren. His son, who is managing director of Beales Roses, said: “He was a man of huge personality, knowledge and experience and we will all miss him so very much.”